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Dogs From Outer Space? Would That Explain Our Strange and Wondrous Relationship With Them?


Sometimes, a good kid’s movie is all it takes to be lifted out of the doldrums, created in part by the mundane program- ming on television. It’s even more fun if discovering the movie is purely an accident while channel surfing for noth- ing in particular. That’s exactly how we came upon the movie, Good Boy! Originally released in 2003 to mixed reviews, then to DVD in 2004 it has since gained a cult-like following. Directed by John Robert Hoffman and produced by Jim Hensen Pictures, the film is based on the book, Dogs from Outer Space by Zeke Richardson, who also collaborated on the movie’s screenplay.


The likable young actor,


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Owen Baker plays a 12-year- old who has been working as the neighborhood dog-walker so he can earn the privilege of getting a dog of his own. His parents, played by Molly Shannon and Kevin Nealon, finally let him adopt a scruffy Border Terrier that he names, Hubble (voice of Matthew Broderick). Owen wakes up the following morning to dis- cover that he can understand


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every word Hubble says, including, “Take me to your lead- ers.” Hubble, it turns out, is an intergalactic dog pilot and agent from Sirius, the dog star. Hubble explains to Owen that dogs came to Earth thou-


sands of years ago to colonize and dominate the planet. Hubble was sent to Earth by the powerful Greater Dane (voice of Vanessa Redgrave) on a mission to make sure dogs have fulfilled this destiny. Of course, Hubble discovers the awful truth about Earth dogs: “You're all pets!” he says to a group of neighborhood dogs. It’s true, the dogs have strayed from their mission. Other voices of the neighborhood dogs include Delta


Burke (the voice of the Pampered Poodle, Barbara Ann), Donald Faison (the cool Boxer, Wilson), Brittany Murphy (nervous Italian Greyhound, Nelly) and Carl Reiner (Shep, a gassy Bernese Mountain Dog). When Owen and Hubble find out that the Greater Dane


is headed for Earth to do her own inspection, they must work together to prepare dogs everywhere for the visit. Upon her arrival, The Greater Dane is disgusted by what she finds, and calls all dogs home to Sirius. One by one, the dogs begin to dis- appear and suddenly Earth becomes a very quiet, sad, lonely place.


Eventually, Owen sends out a message to Hubble about


how much he still cares for and misses him. The Greater Dane intercepts the message, and asks Hubble about the strange relationship between dogs and humans on Earth.


www.TheNewBarker.com


Photograph courtesy of Lisa Otto.


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